Here, MacIsaac, who’s nominated for Pastry Chef of the Year, dishes on her confectionery inspirations and what treats she’ll be whipping up in her kitchen this summer.
What inspires you?
Inspiration can pop up any time. On a recent trip back home to Maui, I had a Nanaimo bar for the first time and came back to DC to make a new spin on a bar that paired the layers I recalled from my trip with the flavors of Hawaii. Our 808 Bars—nodding to Hawaii's area code—are now one of our most popular items.
How has pastry-making in DC changed?
The entire food scene, pastry included, has grown leaps and bounds since we moved to DC nine years ago. I've watched so many talented pastry chefs run spectacular dessert programs. Plus, we have a variety of high-end bakeries open in the DC area. Bread Furst, Rare Sweets, Bayou Bakery and, opening soon, Bluebird Bakery are all chef-driven shops that are run by amazing pastry chefs. It makes me truly happy to see so many of my pastry brothers and sisters thriving in this city.
What yummy treats are you making this summer?
I can't wait to make Blueberry icebox pie. I look forward to it every year. This summer, I'll probably be making it for my hubby's new spot, The Salt Line, so I'll get to make it twice as much. I'm also working on some new summer cakes, like a Thai iced coffee-inspired cake that combines condensed milk-soaked cardamon cake with espresso-condensed milk buttercream. We make our s’mores-inspired Happy Campers all the time, but I think they're extra delicious in the summer!
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